As I get older, looking ahead at a New Year takes on a greater significance than it did when I was younger. There is always the question of how many more ‘New Years’ have I left and will I still be as fit and healthy this time next year?

At this stage 2016 looks really promising for me. I have already been accepted to present papers on my research at 2 conferences, both in Australia although one is an international one which just happens to be here this year. I love to visit overseas countries but it is much easier to stay in my own country where I understand the customs and currency, among other things. The first conference is a regional one, combining researchers into ageing and those who work in the field, particularly the nurses. It is always interesting to hear the point of view of the latter. These people are the real experts in the care of older people but they rarely have their voices heard. The second conference will bring experts in ageing from all around the world, with their many different experiences, and their many similarities!

I have just checked the stats for my blog and this year it has been accessed by people from 62 different countries, with Brazil at the head of the list. An ageing population really is an international phenomena. To me it is good that we get together and share our problems, and solutions when we find them. My complaint as usual is that there are very few older people at these conferences, yet we are the real experts in the field.

Next year I also want to work a bit harder at getting the book I wrote about my research published. I don’t think I realised how competitive getting published is. In my research into the topic I found that apparently the biggest rival to the major publishing houses is Amazon so that is somewhere else I need to look into.

The last, and to me the most important, happening for next year is that I have found a nearby residential care village for the elderly  which has agreed to let me join them and do more research there. Both emails I have had from them have included the word ‘excited’ which makes it even better. My previous research was restricted to older people living in the community as that was the only area in which there was reliable and appropriate data so this is a wonderful opportunity to expand it by looking at ‘on the job’ data in aged care. As people get older we have 2 concerns, one is how we will live our lives once we give up work and secondly how and where will we live when we can no longer physically look after ourselves and have to rely on others. I’m really excited to have the opportunity to look into this second aspect of ageing.

I am obviously looking at 2016 with a great deal of excitement. I hope yours promises to be as good, no matter what age you are. We can’t all be lucky enough to be 78!